Russian President Vladimir Putin signs decrees recognising occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as independent territories

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a conference of heads of security and intelligence agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States member countries via a video link in Moscow, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed decrees paving the way for the occupied Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be formally annexed into Russia.

The decrees, made public by the Kremlin, said Putin had recognised the two regions as independent territories. This is an intermediary step needed before Putin can go ahead with plans to announce on Friday that the regions are part of Russia.

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